Burning Sands

Critics Consensus

Burning Sands covers familiar territory, but Trevor Jackson's layered performance and director/co-writer Gerard McMurray's empathetic approach help set it apart.



Total Count: 26


Audience Score

User Ratings: 306
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Movie Info

Burning Sands takes you on a raw, voyeuristic journey of fraternity pledging through the eyes of one favored pledgee, who is torn between honoring a code of silence or standing up against the intensifying violence of underground hazing. Led by a breakthrough performance by Trevor Jackson, director Gerard McMurray's feature directorial debut brings an emotional honesty to the classic tale of "rites of passage" and the complicated bonds of brotherhood.

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Critic Reviews for Burning Sands

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (3)

  • You definitely come away from the experience with very mixed feelings about what you've seen and how it was presented, which feels just about right for a story like this one.

    Mar 10, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • There's a lingering pain as the credits roll, a reminder of the misconception that to be a real man, one must endure physical and mental pain inflicted by other men, similarly misunderstanding true masculinity.

    Mar 10, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Benjamin Lee

    Top Critic
  • Viewed as a cautionary tale about the dangers of hazing, Burning Sands dutifully does its job. As hard-hitting sociopolitical commentary, it falls short.

    Mar 10, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • There's something powerful even in its predictability-will things go too far? Does the Pope wear a pointy hat?-and in Jackson's fierce, quietly forceful performance.

    Mar 9, 2017 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • In the absence of a more dramatically dynamic approach to that awfully familiar subject matter, "Burning Sands" proves neither as incendiary nor as challenging as intended.

    Mar 9, 2017 | Full Review…
  • McMurray successfully avoids stereotypes.

    Jan 30, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Jude Dry

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Burning Sands

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